Funding Airport Rail Projects
The Federal Aviation Administration released a Notice of Proposed Policy Amendment and Request For Comments on Tuesday, May 3, regarding a potential change to how airport passenger facility charges (PFC) can be used on airport rail projects. The current policy restricts the use of PFCs to rail projects that will be used exclusively by airport customers and employees.
Existing policy has led to projects that, as stated in the Notice, “can produce financially and practically inefficient outcomes,” hurting airport stakeholders.
A prime example is the railroad station at Newark Liberty International Airport. The station is fenced off from the surrounding area and can only be accessed through the AirTrain service or connecting Amtrak and NJ Transit trains.
Cutting off the station from the surrounding area means fewer passengers are leaving from the station, which results in Amtrak and NJ Transit often running their trains past what could be a busy station. (see above) This negatively affects the airport customers and employees who have fewer transit options whether they are leaving or arriving at the airport.
The new proposal would allow for more flexible criteria when evaluating the use of PFC to fund airport rail projects. This significant change could add value to proposed projects such as the O’Hare Transfer Station and creates the possibility for new proposals such as a train station at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.
Click here to learn more about the proposed policy change.
Last Week at MHSRA:
St. Paul Train Day kicked off a summer full of events that MHSRA will be taking part in to increase popular demand for fast, frequent and dependable trains. Join us this weekend in Toledo!
If you are interested in volunteering at a Train Day event near you contact Dylan@justbuildit.org
Articles We Enjoyed:
CAHSRA Adopts 2016 Business Plan
"The California High-Speed Rail Authority's (CHSRA) board adopted the 2016 business plan, which lays out an approach for sequencing the first phase of the future San Francisco-to-Los Angeles system."
Federal Court Denies Amtrak Regulatory Powers
“A federal appeals court ruled on Friday for the second time that Congress cannot give Amtrak regulatory power over other private railroads and competitors.”
Road Work for Higher-Speed Rail to Start This Month
"A busy intersection near Illinois State University is expected to close for higher-speed rail upgrades this month — the first of several in Bloomington-Normal to be renovated this year."
Michigan DOT to Upgrade Amtrak Wolverine Route
“The projects are aimed at improving service reliability and creating a smoother ride for passengers, as well as preparing for an expansion of the Midwest's first 110 mph service.”
6 Ways High-Speed Rail Will Benefit Texas, Transportation Industry
"Super commuters and other drivers want another solution to Texas’ traffic-clogged highways."
Can the US Rediscover Rail to Tackle Climate Change?
"In a commitment to drastic emissions reductions, 240 members worldwide, including the major railways of Europe, China, Russia, India and the US committed to a 50% increase in rail's share of passenger transportation by 2030."
Japan High-Speed Rail Tour
Join us this September to discover how Japan’s high speed network relates to the future of high speed rail in the United States. We will ride the world’s first high speed line, Japans newest and fastest high speed trains and enjoy the sights in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Call the Society of International Railway Travelers at 800-478-4881 to reserve your spot.
Train Day Events
Take the opportunity to tour the Amtrak Exhibit Train and hear from local, state and national leaders speaking about the importance of rail. The event also features rail travel info, model trains, rail art, informational exhibits, kid train ride, food, prizes and drawings for train trips. Make sure to visit our booth if you make it there!
When: Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: 415 Emerald Ave. and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza (Amtrak Station Building)
Cost: The event is free!
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625